Te Rina is a delegate to the Trust for Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whitikaupeka. Her iwi/hapū development involvement includes politics, research, the environment, education, hauora & te reo Māori me ona tikanga. Over the years Te Rina has been fortunate to have sat alongside a number of kaumātua to collect their narratives and has presented many of these narratives to the Waitangi Tribunal during the hearings – these korero kaumatua influence her contemporary approach to iwi development.
Te Rina completed her Masterate thesis in Development Studies on the evolution of rūnanga, utilising the narrative of Ngāti Whitikaupeka as a political case study in her research “Rūnanga: Manuka kawe ake, facilitating Māori aspirations”. She is a Senior Lecturer at Massey University who teaches in Māori medium education and mainstream education. Involved in Treaty of Waitangi training with colleagues from Te Atakura (Society for Conscientisation), Te Rina is driven by an understanding of the past to create a future that facilitates Māori/iwi/hapū aspirations that are founded on kaupapa Māori, kaupapa iwi, kaupapa hapū approaches & theory. Te Rina is a single-mother who has raised her child in Kohanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa Māori & Wharekura with the assistance of the entire whānau/marae and continues to support te reo Māori movements. Influenced by academic theory just as much as lived reality, Te Rina is strong advocate of kaupapa Māori approaches to our own development.